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  1. #1

    Default Hornets owner predicts season-long sellout

    Hornets owner predicts season-long sellout

    By Don Mecoy
    The Oklahoman

    The Hornets will sell out every game in their temporary Oklahoma City home, team owner George Shinn predicted Tuesday.

    “This is a wonderful market,” Shinn said. “It is just ripe for what we’re trying to do.”

    The Hornets will play 35 games in the 19,675-seat Ford Center downtown. More than 6,500 deposits have been placed on tickets since the team announced last week it would relocate to Oklahoma City.

    Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said he hopes Shinn is right. The initial response has been better than even Cornett anticipated.

    “I’ve got to say that it’s probably even exceeded my expectations, and my expectations were lofty,” Cornett said.

    Shinn’s prediction came during a lunch speech at the downtown Rotary Club before a crowd of about 250.

    Shinn said he was so shaken in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he hadn’t contemplated relocating the team until NBA Commissioner David Stern asked where the Hornets’ games were going to be played. Stern suggested Oklahoma City, Shinn said.

    “I said, ‘Oklahoma City? Are you kidding me?’¥” Shinn recalled. “I’m serious. I didn’t really think this would be a good market.”

    Other cities including Anaheim, Calif., San Diego, Tampa, Fla., and Nashville, Tenn., were trying to lure the Hornets, he said.

    Shinn said he realized that Oklahoma City is in many ways where Charlotte, N.C., was in 1988 when he won the right to establish the Hornets franchise there.

    “To me it just mirrored what went on in Charlotte where we had such success,” Shinn said. “I started feeling good about it, and I realized, hey, they don’t have a (major-league) team there. We would be the only show in town. So my enthusiasm kept going up.”

    When Shinn sought an NBA franchise in Charlotte, many considered him to be “a little man with a big ego,” he said. But the Hornets helped spark a population and economic boom that eventually resulted in Charlotte obtaining an NFL franchise, Shinn said.

    In Oklahoma City, the Hornets are duplicating a blueprint that contributed to success in Charlotte through much of the 1990s - lots of affordable tickets. The Hornets are selling 4,000 $10 tickets for every game at the Ford Center. They are offering another 3,500 seats for $20 or less.

    Starting in 1988, the Charlotte Hornets sold out 364 straight games in an arena that seated more than 23,000 people. Attendance waned and the team lost money in the years before the franchise moved to New Orleans in 2003.

    Shinn touted an economic impact study that showed the Hornets pumped $135 million into Charlotte’s economy.

    “That’s a pretty good job for a bunch of high-paid guys who bounce a rubber ball,” he said.

    Shinn, 64, and his wife are living in an Oklahoma City hotel room as team employees, many of whom suffered major losses in the storm, arrive in Oklahoma City to prepare for the season, which tips off Nov. 1.

  2. #2
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Hornets owner predicts season-long sellout

    My only concern with this email is the owner's lack of committment to the community when attendance waivers. Attendance waivering due to poor play is common. Just loo at attendance at OU games during off times. Heck, tons of people are sellig their tickets this season. Charlotte gave him many years of success. To repay the people of Charolotte by moving the team probably wasn't a decent gesture. Of course there's more to it than that though.

  3. #3
    swake Guest

    Default Re: Hornets owner predicts season-long sellout

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick
    My only concern with this email is the owner's lack of committment to the community when attendance waivers. Attendance waivering due to poor play is common. Just loo at attendance at OU games during off times. Heck, tons of people are sellig their tickets this season. Charlotte gave him many years of success. To repay the people of Charolotte by moving the team probably wasn't a decent gesture. Of course there's more to it than that though.

    Yeah, it's not so much that he moved the team from Charlotte as he was run out of town for being a rapist and a general slimeball. Get someone local to offer him enough money so he will sell the team.

  4. Default Re: Hornets owner predicts season-long sellout

    Quote Originally Posted by swake
    Yeah, it's not so much that he moved the team from Charlotte as he was run out of town for being a rapist and a general slimeball. Get someone local to offer him enough money so he will sell the team.
    ...And you have proof of these acts? Funny. He is not in prison, so, that must mean he was not indicted and convicted.

  5. #5
    flyingcowz Guest

    Default Re: Hornets owner predicts season-long sellout

    Quote Originally Posted by mranderson
    ...And you have proof of these acts? Funny. He is not in prison, so, that must mean he was not indicted and convicted.
    Mr. Anderson, you know not to start off a sentence with the word "and". It's bad grammer. I would think someone with such knowledge of the dictionary would know that.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Hornets owner predicts season-long sellout

    To be fair, a dictionary won't tell you how to use a conjunction, just that 'and' is one. That's for what School House Rock is.

  7. #7
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Hornets owner predicts season-long sellout

    Quote Originally Posted by flyingcowz
    Mr. Anderson, you know not to start off a sentence with the word "and". It's bad grammer. I would think someone with such knowledge of the dictionary would know that.
    flyingcowz, you know that it's supposed to be spelled cows and not cowz. I would think someone with such knowledge of the dictionary would know that.

    cows

    n : domesticated bovine animals as a group regardless of sex or age; "so many head of cattle"; "wait till the cows come home"; "seven thin and ill-favored kine"- Bible; "a team of oxen" [syn: cattle, kine, oxen, Bos taurus]

  8. #8
    Tempo926 Guest

    Default Re: Hornets owner predicts season-long sellout

    It is "grammar" not grammer. Just thought Id get a piece of that action.

    ---- the reader, not the writer

  9. #9

    Default Re: Hornets owner predicts season-long sellout

    Let's move on from this grammar issue and get back to the original topic, please.

  10. Default Re: Hornets owner predicts season-long sellout

    This is great news. A sellout of 19,000 plus seats! OKC has answered the call. I'm surprised and proud. Let's hope this translates to vocal support so strong, the team is actually motivated to do better.

    The real test, however, will be attendance after tickets assume norman NBA prices. If we keep it up, OKC will be in good stead.
    Continue the Renaissance

  11. Default Re: Hornets owner predicts season-long sellout

    Will all the Hornets games be shown on tv? I'm just wondering if I'll be able to see the home games I won't be attending.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Hornets owner predicts season-long sellout

    They should be announcing television rights any day now

  13. Default Re: Hornets owner predicts season-long sellout

    Quote Originally Posted by metro
    They should be announcing television rights any day now
    There will be 67 (I think that is accurate) games televised. That tells me not all games will be televised. By NBA rules, and the rules of practically all, if NOT all major leagues, we will fall under some blackout regulations from time to time.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Hornets owner predicts season-long sellout

    Here you go:

    Hornets notebook: TV deal close

    On TV: The Hornets have yet to finalize a TV deal, but director of broadcasting Lew Shuman said the team is close.
    “I’m very positive that we will be making an announcement soon,” Shuman said.

    The Hornets are negotiating a deal to broadcast 65 of their games on television with Cox. Cox broadcasted Hornet games last season in New Orleans. All of the 82 regular-season games and eight preseason games will air on radio, on KTOK-AM 1000.

    Bell and Boston: Just because Troy Bell played for Boston College doesn’t mean he knows what’s going on with the Red Sox.

    “What is going on with them?,” Bell asked.

    “No really, what happened?”

    When informed the Red Sox were out of the playoffs, Bell came back with, “Who’d they lose to?”

    Uh, Chicago. Three games. Sweep.

    “And I have a Red Sox hat, too,” Bell said. “I like them, but with the focus on practice and everything, I didn’t know.”

    Cut Bell some slack. He’s not from Boston, he just played there in college. Bell is from Minneapolis.

    Snyder update: Coach Byron Scott said guard Kirk Snyder should be ready by Thursday’s preseason opener at Denver, but added that he doesn’t want to rush his return from a hamstring injury.

    “My biggest thing is I still want to see him in practice before I see him in a game,” Scott said. “So if he doesn’t practice (today) and he doesn’t practice Wednesday, then most likely I wouldn’t play him Thursday.”

    Snyder said he aggravated his hamstring before training camp started, but said he tried to play through the injury.

    “I was a new face,” Snyder said. “I wanted to make sure I had the guy’s respect. After I got that, I tended to the injury.”

    Banks struggling a bit: Rookie Sean Banks, who spent about a year and a half playing college ball at Memphis, said he’s adjusting to the NBA game, but a bit slower than he thought.

    “Everybody’s good,” Banks said. “It’s like I’m half a step slow. I’m not down about it. I’m just trying to learn the plays, but play my game at the same time so I’m not just a robot out there. Once I start learning, I’ll be better and I won’t be a half a step slow.”

    Banks played in 16 games last season at Memphis before being ruled academically ineligible. He averaged 14.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game last season. He was the Conference USA Freshman of the Year two seasons ago.

    Speedy injured: Point guard Speedy Claxton jammed a toe during Monday’s practice, but the injury isn’t believed to be serious.

    “I think that’s a day-to-day thing,“ Scott said. “The trainer didn’t sound like that was anything serious and neither did Speedy.”

    Rasual is hot: Forward Rasual Butler had his best day of practice Monday when the team scrimmaged in the last half of the day.

    “Rasual was just on fire,“ Scott said. “He played extremely well.”

    Butler played in 65 games last year with Miami in the regular season and averaged 6.5 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.

    By Darnell Mayberry and Andrew Gilman

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